Thanks to Tom Reynolds for his "Exotic" Photography
Initially, the forecast for the Colorado Championship Tour looked ominous all weekend, with significant rain and thunderstorms predicted for Saturday, and a strong chance of rain Sunday. Colorado's significant Subaru contingent would likely have been happy with rain, but instead, we were greeted by clear blue skies.
144 competitors took to the Roger Johnson designed course, which many thought "looked tight" after initial walks. Geoff Leicester, who drives a 1979 XP Corvette - a big AND wide car, said "Like a lot of people, I initially had some concerns, but halfway through my first run, I realized my concerns were invalid - it was a REALLY fun course!"Many other competitors had similar observations; like many legendary Johnson courses, this one was more than meets the eye; it had a fantastic mix of transitions, sweepers, fast sections and those that rewarded patience.
The course made for some great competition in some classes, while giving those who "figured it out" the ability to sleep soundly tonight with a big cushion over the rest of their classes.
Jacob Dawson will sleep soundly this evening, after putting 3.4 seconds on 2nd place in SS. Dawson ran "race tire" times in his New Mexico themed Lotus Elise, taking advantage of all the Elise has to offer.
In BS, on the other hand,a scant 0.070 separates Jeff Bandes in his 07 Pontiac Solstice and Andy Hecox in a 2000 Corvette. Just a half second back, Salil Shukla is in third, driving a 15 Subaru WRX. BS is becoming a very diverse class, and tomorrow is a new day for all three - this will be a fun battle to watch.
Proving that hard work pays off, Megan Contreras has a half second lead in BSL, driving the family Honda S2000. Leah Street is in second place, also in a S2000, will certainly be looking for that half second plus a bit in the morning!
CS was a lot of fun to watch, with a lot of diversity and talent. Leading the way is Dave Ogburn, who traveled far and acclimated quickly, ending the day with almost a full second lead over Brian Killourhy. Both are driving 2013 Scion FRS, and I'm sure everyone in CS is fixated on the target Ogburn put on his back. 3rd place through 8th place are separated by one second; the third and fourth trophy spots are anyone's guess.
Paul Brown has been having a great season in his 2003 MR2 Spyder, and it is no different today - he's leading the class over Matt Leicester in his newly-obtained 99 Miata. Brown has a nine-tenths lead, but he's getting the car sorted run by run. I'd not be surprised if that lead shrank tomorrow, having looked at tomorrow's course.
In FS, Kevin Youngers kept the momentum going from his win at Mineral Wells, with a convincing 2.8 second lead in his familiar Mustang. Grady Wood is just out of the trophies, and only a tenth separates second and third place - a restful night for Kevin indeed, but the podium has not yet been decided in F Street.
Colorado locals make up the top three spots in STX. Chris Mayfield is leading, with just over a tenth lead on car owner Greg Paine. I'm sure the competition will be fierce tomorrow, as third place is held by Justin Metz in his BMW; if power matters tomorrow, Metz might have something for Mayfield and Paine.
Robert Godiciu has a two tenths lead over Lane Borg, who brought his Corvette up from Texas, abs Subaru driver Tyler Jago. Both Borg and Jago had cone trouble today, but tomorrow is a very new day - if the Corvette can stretch its legs more, who knows what'll happen. More great competition in STU tomorrow is certain!
Lotus drivers from New Mexico are a force to be reckoned with, it seems. Tom Reynolds piloted his SSP Exige to first place, with a 3.9 second lead over Jess Driggers in guide gorgeous 2012 McLaren 12c. In ASP, Keith Pizio cleaned up after two dirty runs in his STI to take a .253 second lead over Todd Briley in his Solstice. Tomorrow will be exciting for sure!
While only a two driver class, BM was a lot of fun to watch as the Leonards, father Paul and son Evan traded back and forth for the lead, with wisdom and experience prevailing in the end. Paul can't sleep easy, though, as Evan only needs to find 0.078 to jump back ahead of Dad tomorrow.
The SCCA Colorado Championship Tour is delivering as promised - great courses, competition and fun. Tomorrow will certainly bring more of the same, with a forecast favorable for a fantastic day at Pikes Peak International Raceway!